Farming community saddened by McEntee death
The farming community has expressed its sadness at the death of Shane McEntee and paid tribute to his work as Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture.
Mr McEntee had special responsibility for forestry, food safety and horticulture. He was leading the Government’s response to the outbreak of the ash tree dieback disease and, up until his death, had been working on measures to contain its spread.
The management and staff of the Department of Agriculture also expressed their deep sadness and regret at his death and said their thoughts and prayers were with his family.
Irish Farmers’ Association president John Bryan said the community was “shocked beyond belief”. “Shane McEntee was a decent, hard-working public representative and farmers were very proud of his appointment as Minister of State with responsibility for forestry last year. He worked tirelessly on behalf of his constituents and the farming community to find solutions,” he said.
“Shane and his father Tony before him were hugely committed to IFA’s work in improving the conditions of farm families, and this was appreciated the length and breadth of the country.”
ICMSA president John Comer said the death of Mr McEntee was profoundly sad and would touch the hearts of families all over the country. “Mr Entee was both popular and respected and his knowledge of farming was complete and hugely impressive,” he said.
Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association president Gabriel Gilmartin said Mr McEntee had an acute understanding of the farming sector and worked very hard during his tenure as Minister of State.
Mr McEntee’s neighbour and friend Fine Gael MEP Maireád McGuinness said she was deeply saddened at his death. He had worked with “great enthusiasm and commitment” in his role as Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, she said. “Shane was a much-valued friend, with a very big heart. He loved his family, his county, his country, his GAA, his politics and he loved people.”
Irish Organic Farmers and Growers Association manager Gillian Westbrook said Mr McEntee was “a warm, open individual” who “worked hard at all levels to develop the organic industry”. In his short tenure as Minister he had shown himself to be dedicated to both home and export markets.
Irish Forestry and Forest Products Association director Marian Byron said Mr McEntee was always interested, approachable and dedicated. She said he always took the time to get to grips with the issues facing the forestry sector and he would be greatly missed.